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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lake Chautauqua

     We spent a couple of hours today wandering around the area.  Lake Chautauqua is a large lake east of Lake Erie.  We enjoyed the countryside and made a dry run to an out-of -the-way restaurant that we will visit tomorrow night with our next door neighbors.  On the south end of the lake is the village of Bemus Village.
     On the way back we made a short stop in Dunkirk to take a picture of their lighthouse.
     We spent a very pleasant "Happy Hour" with our next door neighbors, Larry and Jane.  After supper we wandered down to the park to see if there were going to be any sunset pictures.  There had been a wedding there a few hours before, and it was still going on.  There was a street rod that was worthy of a picture. 
     A bit later I shot a couple of sunset pictures, good...but nothing dramatic.
     On the way back I shot at picture of the KOA sign which was nicely landscaped with flowers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

21 Brix

      Auslese or Eiswein (ice wine) is a German wine that is a result of very special handling.  After the harvest is over and the temperatures have dropped below freezing, the grapes which have not been picked freeze and the sugar is greatly concentrated.  They are hand picked and carefully handled.  The result is a very high sugar and therefore high alcohol content.  They make a very sweet dessert wine.  Unfortunately, they were sold out (at $39 per bottle).
     Brix is a term in the wine business for the sugar content.  21 is very sweet.  This is one of the newer wineries in the area with a wonderful tasting area and gift shop.  Not all of the wines were sweet, although those made with Concord grapes or cherries certainly were.  Even Durelle got into the act.
     Needless to say, we bought a few bottles, and disposed of a half of one at happy hour.  It is nice to be kicking back and relaxing  again.
     They say that 40,000 acres here are under cultivation with grapes.  As we drive around, it seems as if half of the countryside consists of grape vines.  It would be easy to spend a summer here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A quiet day

     We are taking advantage of some quiet time.  Durelle did some ironing today after four loads of wash yesterday.  I did a couple of minor(!) chores, but mostly spent some time with the Kindle.  We did take our after-supper walk to the edge of the lake to see if the sunset gods would favor us.  They didn't, really, but I have included a couple of shots.
     We haven't forgotten the vineyards.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grape country

     For over a century this region has been home to a large grape juice industry.  When the glaciers during the last ice age scraped Canada, dug out the Great Lakes and deposited the debris in glacial moraines across the north east, they created great ridges of gravel and soil along the banks of the lakes.  This well-drained soil, combined with the moderating effects of the breezes off the large lakes have created a "terroir" that is ideal for grapes.  There are 40,000 acres under cultivation.  It is similar in climate and soil to the German wine producing area.  
     Barely visible in the background is Lake Erie.  For most of the last century the grapes were of the Concord variety.  Welch's is based here.  They have silos for grapes to be used in grape juice.  In the past decade, however, several vineyards have converted to hybrid and vinifera grapes, and there are now 23 wineries.  We haven't been to any yet, but we will.  
    We have been carefully following the state of affairs in Colorado Springs and the USAFA.  Less than a week ago we were there.  The academy has been evacuated, and some of our friends in the "springs' are preparing to do so.  We wish them all the very best of good fortune.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Westfield, New York

     As promised, here is a sunset picture from the east end of Lake Erie.  Today was 290 miles.  Our re-planned stop yesterday added fifty miles.  Nonetheless, we arrived by two.  This is a very pleasant KOA right on the eastern tip of the lake.  There was quite a bit of construction on I-90, but it didn't slow us down too much.  Our set up today included several items that do not come in to play on our one-night-stands...chairs, canopies, outside carpet, etc.
     One of the first items on the agenda was defrosting the refrigerator/freezer.  It has been a month since we hit the road; ice has been building up; and the freezer temperature has started to climb.  Tonight we basically crashed.  Tomorrow Durelle plans a bunch of wash, and I get to clean off a few days of bugs from the front of the bus.  Supper was a surprising success: shrimp and angel hair with olive oil, garlic, onion, clam juice, lemon juice, white wine and a touch of Tabasco.
     We have just begun to peruse the brochures.  The area has dozens of vineyards.  We plan to visit a few.  If any of you readers have any great suggestions for the area, let us know. Meanwhile here's the picture as the sun disappeared.
     I waited for a while as the sun did its thing.  It was cool out there.  It was the most comfortable I've been since we left SC.  For such a massive body of water there was no visible boat traffic and no water fowl.  For 150 degrees of azimuth the horizon was the surface of the lake.  The wind was right in my face as if it were emanating from the sun itself.  Given the height of the waves, the lack of whitecaps was surprising.  They only appeared as the waves met their demise on the shore.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Buckeye Lake, OH

      When we called ahead for tonight's reservation, we found that there was no room at the inn. So Durelle called a KOA in Buckeye Lake, about thirty miles east of Columbus.  In order to have satellite access we had to get one of the "patio" sites which, of course, cost a little more.

     Since we got in before three (but not 2:30, Mart), I had time to set up the Weber grill on their grill stand.  With the canopy out we had some shade and enjoyed the evening.  Tomorrow we'll stop in Westfield, NY for ten days.  It will be most enjoyable after five straight days of driving.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Terre Haute, IN

     A couple of days ago, brother-in-law, Mart, took me to task for driving too far and for too long in a day.  He's right.  From USAFA to the east end of Lake Erie is 1530 miles.  Interestingly, in 1963 the first leg (Biloxi, MS to Athol, MA) of our move from Mississippi to Alaska  was exactly the same length.  That time I drove the entire leg non-stop, AND the kids were two years and three weeks old! This time we broke that distance into five days of driving and four one-night-stands.  The two remaining days will be well under 300 miles.  The past three have been I-70 across the prairie, so the miles accumulate without too much trouble...even at 60 mph.  Nonetheless, I do find myself getting a "flat spot" as we approach our destination.  And I am, indeed, looking forward to parking the bus for ten days of checking local vineyards and taking sunset pictures across Lake Erie.
     I'm sure that, if I were properly motivated (but I'm not), I could find some photos for tonight's blog.  There are some cute donkeys that Baxter would like to meet.  But, I'm going to crash and beg your indulgence until we get back to a more rational schedule.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Columbia, Missouri

     The past two days, as well as the next two, are not likely to generate any frame-able pictures nor any deathless prose.  I mean, what can you say about I-70 across Kansas?  It did give a simile that I look forward to using, "He's sharper than an I-70 turn in Kansas".  Actually, in Kansas City there was a 45 MPH turn, but that was very atypical.  While I was checking in the receptionist (owner I think), she was dealing with an Alabama caller.  Since Missouri is now in the SEC, Alabama is coming to town.  She is sold out, as are most of the hotels/motels.  I told her to expect a bunch of Tiffin products.
     This is a nice campground about three miles north of I-70.  There are chimineas at every site with firewood inside.  If it cools off enough, we may try it out.
     This is the Cottonwood RV Park.  It is one I would stop at again.  There was a small conflagration/bevy/flock of Airstreams that convened here as well.
     Tomorrow is Terre Haute. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Russell, Kansas

   So, here we are in Russell, KS.  We got away at 0810, but finding our way to route 24 in Payton, CO took a we stopped to fuel up in Monument, CO before we left.  I still have 3/4 of a tank in Russell, KS.  I-70 through eastern CO and western KS is just what you would imagine...wheat, barley, oats, alfalfa, and corn as far as the eye can see.  What might surprise you is the number of "donkey engines" still pumping oil out of the ground.  We stopped at a spot in Russell, KS...the childhood home of Bob Dole AND Arlen Specter.  
     It is a kind of a Honkey Tonk sort of place with a miniature golf layout occupied by a couple of out of place reindeer.
     Last night we spent a very nice evening with Buzz and Brita Glenn.  We met at Ted's (Turner) Montana Grill for bison burgers and, in my case, braised short ribs.  (What is it with me and long, slow cooking?).
     Today was 358 miles, and tomorrow will be about the same.  The difference is that it will take us five minutes to get onto I-70 instead of over two hours.  We are facing three more one-night-stands until we squat for ten days on the eastern end of Lake Erie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gabriel's Restaurant

     Another no-picture post...sorry 'bout 'dat.   Tonight we went with the Catalfamos north a half hour or so to Selida, CO to a fine restaurant featuring Northern Italian fare.  When ever I think of Northern Italian, I think of osso bucco.  Fundamentally, it consists of braised veal shanks over risotto. Northern Italian cuisine uses brown and cheese sauces with rarely a sign of the tomatoes that are so dominant in the classic Italian kitchen.  The entre was accompanied by appetizer, soup, and salad.  I chose smoked salmon, gazpacho, and ceasar salad ahead of the osso bucco.  Laura Catalfamo, a fine Italian cook in her own right, informed me that osso bucco means melt in your mouth.  It really did.  In most cases chunks of leg bones are relegated to soup, so it is impressive when they are turned into a succulent main dish.  By the way, there was tomato in the gazpacho.
     Tomorrow we'll stock up at the commissary and get packed up to head for a ten day stay at Lake Erie.  Supper will probably be bison burgers at a Ted Turner restaurant with the Glenns in Colorado Springs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reconnecting with friends

     We've been here a few days, and the major news is the forest fires.  Lake George, a legendary fly-fishing area in/near Pike National Forest is about forty miles straight west of here on the other side of the Rampart Range.  Its fire has grown to 450 acres and has caused the evacuation of 150 homes.  The smoke can be seen behind the mountains in a picture taken looking west from Phil and Laura Catalfamo's deck.  Phil was my Alaskan office mate 49 years ago.
     The Air Force Academy is in the center of the picture, and Pikes Peak is just out of view to the left.  We visited the Catalfamos this afternoon to watch the final throes of the US Open.  When the match was over, we had pizza and salad.  This afternoon we are scheduled to attend a barbecue at the home of Jim and Joette Dill.  I was his faculty advisor at USAFA forty (!) years ago.  Tuesday we will be going to a quaint restaurant a bit north of here with the Catalfamos, and on Wednesday we'll meet classmate Buzz and Brita Glenn at one of Ted Turner's buffalo themed restaurants.  This week does not bode well for our waistlines.
     The next picture shows the Academy in a little more detail with the craggy "Eagle's Nest" immediately behind the cadet area.  The Academy is at 7000 feet, and that peak is at 9300.  Four decades ago Cindy, Mark and I would pack food, water, and sleeping bags; walk out the back door of our house and a few hours later would be standing on the top of that peak.  The next morning we would watch the sun come up over Kansas over a hundred miles to the east.
I suspect that picture brings back pleasant memories for all of us.  Speaking of memories, today Durelle and I will have been married 52 years.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Forest Fires

     Guess where we are.  We are relaxing and doing very little today.  It feels good.  The morning began rather suddenly.  We are parked facing toward the southwest (more on that later).  Because of the comfortable air, I opened the window by the head of the bed on my side. Knowledge of our floor plan would tell you that that window faces northeast.  When the sun came up, it had a clear shot at both of our faces.  It was bright!  That curtain is now closed.  A couple of hours later we were awakened for the second time by the single engine, propeller-driven "tugs" that were towing a flotilla of sailplanes to a release altitude from which they can continue their flights.  On some of the flights they carry oxygen as they can ride those mountain thermals to above 30 thousand feet.
     After taking care of the dog I drove up to the Community Center to buy a newspaper.  Yeah, we still do that.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but there was a thin, smoky haze between me and the many mountain landmarks.  They were still very visible, but the so-called "Colorado Sky" that is so crisp, sharp and blue was not there.  There is a large and dangerous wild fire about fifty miles north of us.  It is west of Fort Collins.  It has burned 73 square miles and caused at least one fatality.  Even fifty miles south the smoke is making its presence known.  Durelle, of course, can smell it.
    More about being parked facing southwest...  This campground has an abundance of Ponderosa Pines.  In order to insure satellite reception, I turned on the in-motion, King Dome satellite dish on the front of the roof so that I could monitor the signal strength as I maneuvered.  Guess what happened as I pulled further and further into the assigned spot?  The signal strength dropped from 72 to zero.  That would not do.  After all, the US Open starts today.  I unhooked the Jeep, drove the bus around until I could enter my site from the "wrong" direction.  Fellow motorhomers know where this story is headed.  All RV sites are set up with the utilities (water, sewer, and electric power) on the driver's side.  This meant that I had to use all available length as well as find a way to thread those lines under the bus.  It was an unpleasant chore after a fairly intense day of mountain driving.  All's well that ends well.  A good martini makes a pretty fair muscle relaxer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


     Well, we are now east of the Rockies.  After a nice visit With Tom and Carol Mackey and Kelli, we made the trek across the Rockies west to east on I-70.  Before we left, Kelli took a couple of departure shots.

     We have crossed the Rockies on I-70 before.  This time was a little different in that I manually downshifted so as to keep the RPMs above 2000 as we climbed.  It kept the coolant temperature from climbing.  The first high spot was Vail Pass at about 10,300 feet.  We stopped at a rest area there for lunch.  There is a lot of money in Vail.  There are handsome lodges and chalets clinging precariously from every ridge line and outcropping.  And, of course, the condos abound.
     Then we dropped down to 9000 feet before climbing again up to 11,156 feet at the Loveland Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel.  On the east side attentive driving was just as important.  The road is not straight as it winds down the mountain, so frequent down shifts were required.  We dropped a mile in elevation without using the brakes.  West of Denver we hit I-470 which looped around south of Denver until we hit I-25 south to USAFA.  As you can imagine, the mileage sucked.  But we arrived at our campsite before five.  There is no shortage of Ponderosa pines in the campground so, In order to access the satellite, I had to head the bus the wrong way into the site.  That put all the utilities on the wrong side, but is it all worth it if my bride has her Sports Channel.

Elk Steaks

     Tuesday was a most pleasant day.  After an early lunch, the four of us climbed into the Jeep and drove south to the small town of De Beque, CO.  

This is where Tom and Carol Mackey lived before moving to the metropolis of Parachute.  A couple of miles out of town is the 416 acres that once comprised the Mackey Ranch.
     While both of the Mackeys were a bit nostalgic for the ancient wooden corral that stood here until recently, you can still sense the serenity the pervades the area.  Below is a shot of the two of them.
     We then returned to their current place "in town".  Next is a shot of the bus taken in their driveway with a view to the south.  When Carol said that we were welcome to park in their driveway, I was skeptical because we have been burned before by well-intentioned folks who don't realize how big a forty foot bus really is. But, driveways and most everything else are bigger out here, so we had no problem.
     Also parked in their yard is Tom's 1947 (!) John Deere tractor.
     The highlight of the day, however, was the gathering of some of their combined families for the grilling of some marinated elk steaks.  I was pressed into service to do the grilling.  As you can see, there were a few burgers for the less adventuresome among us.
     We topped off the day sitting outside in a pleasant Colorado evening enjoying some "Cloutier Specials".  These are pleasant, but deceptive, after-dinner drinks that were conjured up by Louis and Raoul Cloutier many years ago.  Combine one part each of vodka, orange juice, and apricot brandy.  Add a half a part of grenadine, add ice, stir and pour.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Parachute, CO

     Monday was a long one...about 375 miles.  We didn't get away until nine because we slept until eight.  We have an alarm clock (somewhere).  The first 70 miles were north on I-15 until we hit I-70 east.  The 250 miles or so across southeastern Utah on I-70 was interesting and impressive.  The elevation varied +/- 3500 feet, so the mileage suffered.  As a matter of fact, I spent quite a bit of time managing the transmission and the engine brake.  In spite of the grades one sees a lot of triple tandem trailers here...mostly Fedex, but others as well.  We once saw four of them in a row.  To give you a feel of the dramatic, but desolate, remoteness consider the stretch from Salina, UT to Green River, UT, it is 105 miles, and there are absolutely NO services between the two towns...nary a gas pump nor taco stand.  Imagine such a situation anywhere east of the Mississippi.
     Tonight we stopped in Parachute (perhaps I can find out the origin of that name) at the home of Carol and Tom Mackey.  Carol's and my fathers were brothers.  We parked in their yard, set up the bus, and visited.  The pizza was good, too.
     It was not a day for pictures, but I'll have some tomorrow.  Monday was a unique day in that zero cash was fuel, no eating out, not even a camping fee.  Such days are rare.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Zion National Park

     Today we drove south and east from Cedar City to Zion National Park.  Yesterday we spent the day peering over the edge and looking down at the scenery.  In Zion the opposite is true. the views were all upward.  Plus there is a tunnel that is over a mile long.  As you might guess, the picture below is taken of checkerboard mesa.
     There is at least half of Zion that can only be seen by using their shuttle buses, and since you can't take dogs on the shuttles, we did not see all of the park.  We did see some impressive views, and since the views were continuous as we drove, I enjoyed it more than Bryce.  There was also some wildlife.  Below is the north end of a southbound Rocky Mountain sheep.  I hope ewe enjoy it.
          To be fair to her, here's one from her better side.
     The "Watchman", of which Durelle now has a cross stitch, is the landmark at the southern entrance to the park.
     In some places the layered colors are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.
     It surely is nice to not need the AC.  Our overnight low was 35 degrees!...after triple digit Vegas, it is wonderful.


I guess you could say that this place rocks.  Today we left Cedar City, UT about 1030 with a full tank of gas in the Jeep.  The round trip took 200 miles.  So much for a non-driving day.  To get to Bryce National Park from Cedar City, you must proceed east for about 40 miles on UT-14.  Last fall a massive landslide wiped out about a third of a mile of UT-14.  No one was killed, but they are still repairing the damage.  There are ten miles of 6 to 8% grade. It is about 80 miles from Cedar City to the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park.  As you might expect, I took a lot of pictures.  It is difficult to decide which ones to use.  

          This is a "Natural Bridge" picture.

     This, of course, is Durelle and the pup.  Anyone who has spent some time peering through a viewfinder knows that the early morning and late evening light provides the warm and gentle light that makes for memorable photos.  Today, of course, we were in the canyon during the middle of the day when the light is harsh and the colors are washed out.  Nonetheless, I hope that these shots provide some enjoyment.
     Perhaps one of the best views on the eighteen mile drive is at Inspiration Point.

     When we got back to the campground, we were treated to a view of a guy and his golden doodle.  No big deal you say?  We all know golden doodles...Hi, Ginger, but this one rides on the back of his owner's Harley.

     I'm told he does the same thing on a jet ski.  He even has his own you tube video at  
     Sunday we'll try Zion; it's not as far away from Cedar City.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cedar City, Utah

     I only have a couple of modest pictures tonight, so you'll have to settle for my Churchillian prose.  We left Las Vegas (Nellis AFB) at 1000 PST.  We only had a three hour drive north on I-15 to Cedar City.  I am growing to like three hour days.  Cedar City is about an hour and a half from Bryce Canyon National Park and under an hour to Zion National Park.  Tomorrow we'll have a go at Bryce Canyon.
     The drive north out of Vegas was pure desert.  Then we cut across 29 miles of the northwest corner of Arizona.  Arizona was much more dramatic than the featureless Nevada.  Then I-15 plowed on into Utah.  The countryside became much more  photogenic.  The ten mile traverse through the Virgin River Gorge was very dramatic.  Unfortunately I had not set Durelle up to take some windshield pictures,
     We climbed to more than a mile high which hammered our mileage.  Cedar City is over a mile high.  We stopped in a classic KOA with cabins and tent sites, too.  The good news after spending a lot of three digit temperature time in Vegas is that the overnight low tonight is projected to be 56 and tomorrow will be 38!!  
     You can see from the picture that we are parked in the mountains.  The next shot shows our rig with Durelle and Baxter enjoying our first opportunity to sit outside in the evening in a long time.
     With any luck tomorrow's pictures should include some nice pictures from Bryce Canyon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Revised Itinerary

     For no earth shattering reason we changed our east bound itinerary to return via I-70 instead of I-80.  The changes are reflected below:

               # of days

26 May          1            Bremen, GA              
27 May          1            Memphis, TN             
28 May          1            Checotah, OK            
29 May          1            Amarillo, TX               
30 May          1            Gallup, NM                
31 May          1            Kingman, AZ             
  1 Jun           7            Nellis AFB, NV          
  8 Jun           3            Bryce Canyon, UT      
11 Jun           2            Grand Junction, CO    
13 Jun           8            USAFA, CO               
21 Jun           1            Russell, KS           
22 Jun           1            Columbia. MO          
23 Jun           1            Terre Haute, IN          
24 Jun           1            Marengo, OH              
25 Jun          10           Westfield, NY             
 5 Jul             1            Glenville, NY              
 6 Jul            14           Humarock, MA           
20 Jul            3            Athol, MA                  
23 Jul           48           Belfast, ME                
9 Sept          21           Brookline, NH 

     You will note that our routing from NH to SC is still a completely blank slate.         

     I thought that you might like to see a picture of the church that was the setting for yesterday's wedding.  The aesthetic combination of the southwestern, adobe-like architecture and the classic, domed Greek church was particularly well done.

The Wedding

Well, it happened.  There were about fifty people at the wedding of Illia Zotos and Melissa Cloutier.  It turns out that Las Vegas is partway between Australia and New Hampshire.  Plus, the venue was ideal for the partying Aussies.  The wedding was a characteristic orthodox Greek ceremony in a wonderful church that combines, in an architecturally correct way, the southwestern adobe and a classic Greek temple.  For those of you that don't know, Melissa is a beautiful lady who just graduated from Boston University.  Illia is an Australian whose family and friends  made the long trip to the states for their son's wedding.  I took 102 pictures.  Obviously only a few will make the cut for this blog.  There are many pictures that will be sent to the principals that will not be seen here.
     I suppose it is appropriate to start with a picture of the bride and groom.  The wedding was a classic Greek Orthodox wedding.  The priest got a good laugh when he dealt with the "let no man put asunder" issue by saying to the bride's parents, "or taking the bride down under".  They will be moving to Australia.  
     The toasts and the poignant remarks brought tears to most of those present.  You'll be happy to know that yours truly managed to refrain from imparting any superior wisdom to those a half century younger than we are.  I must include a picture of the wedding couple with us.
     It was a wonderfully done event that ran as smooth as silk.  The couple must be congratulated for accomplishing an event  that took such a high degree of international coordination.  We wish them the very best as they start a life together.  In less than two weeks we will celebrate 52 years of our life together.  It's been fun.
     Tomorrow we will do some housecleaning and grocery shopping in preparation to spending three days in Utah with visits to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.  In the next blog I will provide an updated itinerary as we have decided to head east on I-70 instead of I-80.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Finding a top notch Mexican Restaurant

     Although it is quite a way north of the Mexican border, Las Vegas has always had a reputation (among many others) as a good place to find a great Mexican restaurant.  Today, via Google, I found lists by several rating agencies.  The consensus choice seemed to be the Lindo Michoacan, which was conveniently located in Henderson on the southeastern edge of Las Vegas on our way to visit Hoover Dam.  One of the charming attributes was the table side preparation of Guacamole dip.
     Durelle ordered a shredded beef chimichanga while I went with chile verde with the expected tender chunks of roast pork.
     This is the chili verde and you can see the bowl of Guacamole in the top of the picture.  The style of the restaurant was expansive, yet intimate; elegant, but not overly adorned.  Did I mention the margaritas?  Any great Mexican restaurant must make a great margarita...on the rocks with salt, please!  Due to the upcoming outdoor activities in the Arizona/Nevada sun, we limited ourselves to one and had a big glass of ice water.
     From there it is only thirty miles to the Hoover Dam, a truly massive project the was implemented during the depths of the Great Depression.  I was unable to get any "Oh, Wow" pictures, and there is really nothing to give you a sense of scale.

     The first picture is taken from the dam looking up toward the southern tip of Lake Mead which the dam created.  Note the cordon upstream of the dam which denies boater access.  These days it more to protect the dam than the boaters as was the original case.  All vehicles pass through security before they are allowed to drive over the dam.  
     The second picture shows the downstream side of the dam.  Note that it is arched toward upstream so that the pressure of the water forces the dam to transfer the stresses into the canyon walls.  Although there is nothing visible to provide scale, the dam, itself, is over 760 feet tall and contains over 3 1/4 million cubic yards of concrete.  There was another million or so used for all the supporting structures.  I could dig up a lot of mind-numbingly large logistic facts. Suffice it to say that that it was a breathtaking achievement given the technologies of eighty years ago.
     Just downstream from the dam is the new Pat Tillman Memorial bridge that carries the traffic to bypass the dam.  It, too, was a significant engineering achievement, especially anchoring the bases in the vertical walls of the Black Canyon.
     Tomorrow is the wedding.